Monday, December 5, 2022

Sonnen Reveals U-Turn On Mayweather’s Exhibitions

Former UFC star Chael Sonnen has explained why he’s come around to Floyd Mayweather’s current career activities.

While he’s been committed to his latest professional retirement, which came after he extended his perfect professional record to 50-0 with a victory over former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor, boxing legend Mayweather hasn’t disappeared from the scene by any means.

In recent years, “Money” has been living up to his moniker by earning lucrative paydays in various exhibition matches. That’s included a win over Japanese kickboxing great Tenshin Nasukawa, as well as a clash with YouTube and now-professional wrestling star Logan Paul.

Following a bout with former sparring partner Don Moore earlier this year in Dubai, Mayweather returned to Japan to face mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura. The undefeated pugilist stopped the 30-year-old home favorite via TKO in the second round.

As Mayweather continues to engage in what many describe as novelty matches, some have suggested that he’s damaging his legacy in the sport of boxing, which he carved out through an unparalleled period of dominance.

That includes YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul. After having his short résumé in the ring downplayed by Mayweather, “The Problem Child went on the offensive in a post on Twitter.

“All right, ladies and gentlemen, picture this: It’s 2022. Floyd Mayweather is ruining his legacy fighting no-name guys, wasting his fans’ money, wasting his fans’ time,” Paul wrote. “He doesn’t even know the names of the guys he’s fighting.”

While one former UFC title challenger initially shared the same sentiment, he’s since experienced a U-turn.

Sonnen: ‘Mayweather Has It All Figured Out’

During a video uploaded to his YouTube channel last week, Chael Sonnen discussed this weekend’s Rizin event, which saw Mayweather record his first stoppage victory since his 2018 success against Nasukawa.

After admitting that he initially believed Mayweather to be damaging his boxing legacy by engaging in exhibition contests against much-lesser opponents, Sonnen admitted that he no longer shares that view.

“Floyd Mayweather goes out to do his match in Japan… I think Floyd’s got it all figured out. And I used to really question Floyd,” Sonnen said. “Let me give you a quote: Jake Paul, over the weekend, was talking about Floyd going and doing this match. Paul said, ‘He’s ruining his legacy.’ I agreed with Jake. I don’t know that I currently agree with Jake. But that was my prediction as well, ‘This is silly.’ And Floyd even knows it’s silly, that’s why he’s lying about the money he’s making.

“He’s trying to justify and explain, but I don’t think he owes us that. Floyd, prior to this last fight, said something very cool. He said, ‘I’m gonna go over to Japan, the money’s good and the competition is light.’ I appreciated that, ’cause it is light,” Sonnen continued. “But for Floyd to go out and do that, you’ve gotta be in a level of shape and you’ve gotta have a level of timing. It takes a level of hard work.”

Sonnen went on to note that Mayweather is receiving handsome paychecks, all whilst appearing at well-produced events and competing at a strong level.

“Floyd’s really got this thing figured out. You go pick up $8 million… this is beautiful. Went over to Japan, had light work,” Sonnen noted. “This was yesterday, guys, another fight was announced today for Floyd. They’re calling it an exhibition. It’s already announced.

“So I would have agreed with Jake, like, ‘Hey man, this is gonna hurt your legacy.’ … But Floyd is going places with beautiful production and he looks good in there,” Sonnen added.

As “The American Gangster” mentioned, Mayweather is not closing out his year in the ring following his second appearance. On November 13, the 45-year-old will return to the squared circle in Dubai to face YouTuber Deji, brother of KSI, under the Global Titans banner.

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